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NCE Live News Updates Tuesday 15 October 2013: Skanska/Bam Nuttall wins Northern Hub civils job

Skanska/Bam Nuttall have won an around £200M contract for civils work on the North West rail scheme, NCE understands.

2.30pm: The All Party Group on Highway Maintenance has called for “urgent action” to stop local roads deteriorating.

Chairman Christopher Chope, at the launch of a new report, called for local authority asset management plans to be made mandatory as part of urgent action to prevent local roads from falling into further disrepair.

“Everyone is aware of the poor condition of our roads, not least through feedback from our own constituents,” said Chope. “Having devoted numerous meetings to the topic and discussed it with various expert guests, we have reached the conclusion that there is only one question left to ask: why isn’t more being done to improve the situation?”

The Managing a valuable asset: improving local road condition report recommends:

  • Getting local roads into a satisfactory steady state for planned preventative maintenance as soon as possible
  • Improving borrowing facilities to allow councils to prevent roads deteriorating further before additional maintenance funding promised by government for the 6-years starting in 2015
  • Making asset management plans mandatory in return for access to central government funds for road maintenance
  • Allowing further devolution of highways funding decisions, by encouraging decisions on how local authorities can spend central funding allocated for capital outlay to be made locally
  • Optimising maintenance schedules across local and national strategic road networks, to minimise disruption to road users and the associated costs

The full report can be read here


2pm: Plans for tackling congestion on the A14 could leave the Government in breach of legal limits for air pollution, according to Campaign for Better Transport.

The transport charity said it had examined the government’s £1.5bn for the A14 corridor and is warning that the scheme would not only significantly worsen air pollution across a wide area, it could actually push a number of locations above current EU legal limits.

“The government’s plans for the A14 will seriously worsen air pollution for people living along the route and risks breaching legal limits, while only providing a temporary improvement in congestion,” said the charity’s roads and sustainable transport campaigner Sian Berry. “It would be far more cost effective and sensible to look at ways of reducing traffic levels to help solve congestion more permanently and sustainably without breaking the law and damaging public health.”

1pm: Nearly three quarters of UK construction leaders are feeling positive about their prospects for the next two to five years, a survey by accounting giant KPMG has found.

KPMG’s Global Construction Survey 2013: Ready for the Next Big Wave also found that most of the 165 senior construction firm executives interviewed reporting increased order books, pipeline and profit margins and many planning to expand either into new regions or new sectors such as power and energy.

“Construction companies now need to invest in growth,” said KPMG UK head of infrastructure, building and construction Richard Threlfall. “What is holding back the industry now is not lack of demand, but the ability of businesses to resource for it and recruit sufficient experienced staff.”

9.30am: A Skanska/Bam Nuttall joint venture has won a key Northern Hub railway scheme contract worth around £200M, NCE understands.

Read more on this story here.

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